It is easy to ignore yourself and your own needs when you have a new baby. But whether it is your first or your fifth, the importance of postpartum care does not change. Moms need to accept that their bodies have carried, nourished, and pushed out an entire human being. And this means their bodies need to recover.
Here are 8 ways to take care of yourself after giving birth that you should always put in mind.
1. Eat Well
Whether you are trying to lose that pregnancy weight or simply overwhelmed with the responsibilities of having a newborn, it is quite common and easy to miss a meal or two. Sometimes it feels like just when you are about to have a bite of that sandwich, the baby starts to cry.
Unfortunately, when your body does not have the nutrition it needs, you will find yourself having no more energy to deal with your mommy duties. Plus, if you are breastfeeding, you are also not replenishing your body with enough to fill you and your little one.
So when your little one is eating, grab something to eat as well. You can look for easy-to-make snacks or batch cook so that you have stuff you can easily grab out of the fridge and warm quickly. Make sure you also get enough to drink as breastfeeding makes you thirsty.
2. Take Prenatal Vitamins
Though they are called “prenatal”, they are also important for your body postpartum. But the fact is, these products are usually designed for the pregnancy and breastfeeding stages.
After all, you need more vitamins and minerals when breastfeeding than when you were pregnant. Your body also needs enough omega 3 fish oil and vitamin D during this time to give your little one these vital nutrients.
3. Give Yourself Quiet Time
It is understandable that relatives and friends are eager to see the new baby but it does not mean you cannot say no to visits. Be honest and say that you need time to recover from giving birth.
Moreover, your baby also needs the time to settle down to being home and getting used to a routine. It is simply for both your sakes to plan visits later rather than sooner. You will also save a lot of energy this way.
4. Get Enough Sleep
If you are lucky to be the kind of person who can fall asleep easily, then it might not be as tough for you to sleep when the baby does. Especially in the beginning, you need to forget all about the pile of dishes on the sink and other seemingly important tasks that you can either push back or delegate.
You need sleep, especially if you are doing nightly feeds. It might help to close the shutters or curtains and reduce noise in the room so both mama and baby can get some good shuteye.
5. Give Yourself Time To Get Used To Breastfeeding
Especially for most first-time moms, breastfeeding can be tough at first. It is painful, confusing, and sometimes downright frustrating. You are not the only one, so you should definitely try to look for support or help from a doula, midwife, or even other moms. Do not be discouraged if it takes time.
6. Do Your Kegel Exercises
While doing physical workouts is not suggested for those who just had a Caesarian birth, you can start with smaller exercises to keep your body moving. Start by going for a walk with your newborn for 20 or 30 minutes a day. You can also do Kegel exercises to whip your pelvic floor muscles back into shape after giving birth.
7. Take Care Of Your Vagina
She did a lot of work during childbirth, and you might still feel discomfort or pain down there. If you had vaginal tears, use topical lidocaine to numb the area, while ibuprofen can deal with the swelling. Instead of wiping with toilet paper, wash with warm water. Your vagina will heal in a few weeks with some TLC.
8. Ask For Help
Being a mom in this day and age is not easy, as you have to deal with so many (unnecessary) comments and advice from everyone. The fact is, you do not need to be a supermom especially after giving birth. Ask for help so you do not feel so overwhelmed. A rested and relaxed mom is also better for your baby.
Postpartum care is commonly overlooked, especially when there is a helpless little baby to take care of. But even if you had an easy birth or not suffering from postpartum depression, you need to give yourself time to recover and adjust to having a new baby in your life.